Words by Danielle Whiteman
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Say goodbye to the dilemma of staring at a wardrobe full of clothes and feeling like you have nothing to wear. Celebrity stylist Danielle Whiteman is here to teach you how to elevate your wardrobe throughout the year.
Despite September’s best attempt at an Indian summer, Autumn has most definitely broken through, and it’s time for a bit of a wardrobe transition. The secret when moving your wardrobe through the seasons, is to focus on the basics. It’s these hard working, classic staples that you can use to anchor your style by incorporating subtle, fashionable updates every season.
The more staples you can mix, match and update, the better, so I’m here this month to highlight the timeless combinations, that I think are essential for building a chic, versatile, sustainable wardrobe
1. A Great Pair of Jeans
Starting with a classic style staple and something I would safely say everyone has in their wardrobe is a great-fitting, pair of jeans. Finding the perfect jean is no mean feat as the High Street has so many styles, washes, colours and shapes on offer, it’s difficult to know where to begin. We all have a favourite pair that we reach for!
For this Autumn, I think the double denim aka the ‘Canadian tuxedo’ look, is perfect for weather that just can’t make up it’s mind. I love this Next, Mid Blue Lightweight Relaxed Denim Shirt, £28. To get this look right, the key is to try and buy a denim that is a similar tone to your jeans. I also love the vintage wash of & Other Stories, Relaxed-Fit Tapered Jeans, £85, for that worn-in Levi’s look, for less.
If you are looking to add a jean update to your wardrobe this season, you may have seen that the full-length dad jean is making quite a comeback and Mango have a great pair. For a simple but stylish look, pair their Straight Jeans with Forward Seams, £35.99. with a tailored jacket, and tank top or tee.
Most people only wear their light denim (white/ecru shade) during the summer months, but for a gorgeous autumn look, pair with tan accessories like New Look, Truffle Camel Buckle Footbed Mule Slippers £25.00, (a fab Birkenstock dupe alert!) and a slouchy knit in a similar shade to the denim like this Uniqlo, Premium Lambswool Crew Neck Jumper, £29.90.
If you like the sound of this and want to invest in a pair of light denim jeans, try Abercrombie & Fitch’s Ultra High Rise 90s Straight Jean, £75. You could always wear a tank or tee underneath so if you get warm, you can simply drape the jumper over your shoulders for a chic, nonchalant look.
2. A Tailored Lightweight Jacket
Whether in the form of a bomber jacket, blazer or Chanel-esque tweed, the tailored lightweight jacket, is something we all have in our wardrobe. Simple styling is really having a moment right now. It’s all about stripping looks back to basics with classic tailored pieces and the lightweight jacket is essential this season. To get this look, pair a tailored jacket with a vintage wash straight leg jean or cargo pant and wear simply, with a tee underneath and a classic white trainer.
Zara have great bomber jackets, like their Cropped Textured Bomber Jacket £49.99. Another super style combo is to pair a black tailored slim fit jean or trouser, with ballet pumps or black penny loafer, and I love Office’s, First Class Classic Penny Loafers, £59.99.
3. A Classic Black Tailored Trouser
Talking of tailoring, a classic, black, tailored trouser is a key feature in any wardrobe. The trouser of the moment is the pleat front trouser, which provides the perfect balance of casual and smart dressing. My current favourites are these Warehouse, Tailored Double Pleat Wide Leg Trousers, £31.50.
Keep the styling simple by paring with a classic white tee or tank but add simple accessories to elevate the whole outfit. Add a chunky gold earring like Mango’s, Gold Twisted Earrings, £12.99 and a belt to break up the look and draw attention to your waist as these trousers can be on the baggy side.
A classic black belt with gold detailing is best for this and a great purse friendly option is H&M’s, Leather Belt, £15.99. For a more casual look, style with a classic white trainer like the Adidas, Original Samba OG, £90 or a leather mule. A classic white shirt is also a great addition to this look. Wear open, almost as a jacket with a tank underneath or buttoned up and tucked in at the front for a laid-back vibe.
The addition of a tailored jacket is a great way to smarten up this look and a blazer will give it the appearance of a tailored suit. This Zara, Oversized Blazer, £49.99 is a lovely option, or opt for a bomber jacket for a sporty, casual feel.
4. A Simple Knitted Tank
Something I always rave about when going from season to season is a simple knitted tank. This piece really will take you through to Spring as its the perfect way to add warmth without committing to a jumper! I would suggest sticking to monochrome tones like black or grey, just for wearability. As the classic layering piece, for a simple, Parisian style, wear over a classic, white shirt and black, tailored trousers and add ballet pumps.
For a more casual look, wear over a tee and vintage wash jeans, or you could layer over your favourite summer dress and swap out the sandals for a chunky boot. With staples like this, there’s no need to pack away your summer dresses just yet! This H&M, Sweater Vest, £19.99 is a gorgeous, affordable option.
5. A Knitted Dress
Keep your styling simple with a classic, knitted dress. Zara’s, Long Knit Dress with Metallic Thread Detail, £45.99, is a gorgeous biscuit-colour. I love a suede clog and sock combo for those warmer autumn days – stick to tan suede tones for this – and for colder days pair with a biker boot. The Stradivarius, Black Biker Boot with Buckle Detail, £46.00, are a lovely option. Add a leather jacket or keep it super casual with a classic white trainer and bomber jacket for a sport-luxe feel.
6. A White Tee
Let’s talk about the ultimate basic – the white tee. We all have one of these in our wardrobe! The key with a white tee is to make sure it’s white! It sounds silly to say, but so often our white tee’s can lose their brightness.
This season’s white tee has taken on a more boxy shape, made from thicker fabrics like this Clean Cut T-shirt, £25.00 from Cos. I love layering it with a stripe like this Zara, Knit Cardigan with Golden Buttons, £35.99. Again, wear with a washed denim and ballet pumps or with a darted black trouser, and bomber. The options are endless for this combo!
These outfit combinations might sound a little repetitive, but it’s exactly this repetition that will make your wardrobe work hard for you, so you’re not constantly buying into trends. It’s all about getting to the stage where you only need to add small seasonal updates to freshen up your look.